[CentOS] using Linux as a NAS / SAN device

Rudi Ahlers rudiahlers at gmail.com
Fri Aug 28 07:14:18 UTC 2009

> These aren't centos based - or even all linux, but the software-NAS
> players are:
> http://www.openfiler.com/
> http://www.freenas.org/
> http://www.nexenta.com/corp/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=4&Itemid=67
> Or you can just use a generic disto with separate configuration commands
> for each protocol.
> --
>   Les Mikesell
>    lesmikesell at gmail.com
> _______________________________________________
> CentOS mailing list
> CentOS at centos.org
> http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos

I have, and still do use FreeNAS on my own home-server and I have to
say that it works well. But, then again when something goes wrong I
reinstall, and restore the backups.

The thing is, how will these kind of option perform in a hosting
environment where downtime isn't at all an option. We have backup
generators, UPS, load balanced networks, etc Even the Tyan /
SuperMicro machines that I'm looking at will have redundant power
supplies & hard drives.

But the one piece of of the puzzle that I don't understand, will a
self-build-Linux NAS device, or even Openfiler / FreeNAS give us that
kind of uptime.

The other thing which I would like to also get to, is that we could do
more with a Linux based distro than with a off-the-shelf NAS. For
example I could setup storage space for users and build custom
applications that could manage it all - for example give a hosting
client a reseller account with 1TB space and he could resell that to
his clients. And I could go as far as setting up SMB / NFS / iSCSI /
rsyn / SSH / FTP / sFTP / podcast / HTTP / etc,  i.e. other protocols
which a NAS may not necessarily support. And I could even use it as a
dedicated web farm if I feel like it, running HTTP & MySQL as well if
the server has enough RAM & CPU.

Ideally I would like have a highly-redundant storage device which can
be used by numerous users, and also host Virtual Machines on it. So IO
will be the biggest concern, in terms of speed, with reliability the
2nd biggest concern.

I'll run RAID 10 (1+0) for speed & reliability, and use 1TB / 1.5TB
RAID edition server grade SATAII hard drives with hardware RAID -
although I also think software RAID on a decent CPU could perform
better. But the hardware RAID cards have battery backup which gives
better reliability. Then I would like to build 2 devices, each syncing
with the other one.

The other question is, how well will my own Linux / UNIX based NAS
perform? Surely these companies who build their own NAS devices spend
a lot of time fine-tuning the OS to deliver the best performance, and
probably spend a lot of time researching and testing different
hardware devices and configurations to see what works best?

Kind Regards
Rudi Ahlers
CEO, SoftDux Hosting
Web: http://www.SoftDux.com
Office: 087 805 9573
Cell: 082 554 7532

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